Car-scrapping bonus: How to get the most out of it?

Synonyms used: recycling bonus, car-scrapping bonus, trade-in, ELV (End-of-Life Vehicle) bonus.

Car dealers often jumble up all of these bonuses, which are in reality all similar and equivalent. This is the first thing you have to understand: recycling bonus, car-scrapping bonus, trade-in and ELV bonus are all synonyms. Even car makers invent their own names: Blue-Eco bonus, Blue Motion Attitude bonus, etc. All of these names mean just one thing: the dealer will take your old car off your hands for 1,000, 2,000 or even 4,000 euros!

How the car-scrapping bonus got started

To protect the environment, boost car sales and comply with European directives, some car makers will recycle your end-of-life vehicle (ELV) when you purchase a new car! In return for your old car, the car maker will offer you a rebate from € 500 to € 4,000, depending on the make and model.

How the car-scrapping bonus works

In concrete terms, the day you buy your new car, you should tell the dealer that you have an old car and that you would like to benefit from the car-scrapping bonus. This bonus is pre-defined and non-negotiable, but it can change from one month to the next, enabling the car maker to promote sales of certain models.

In Belgium, this recycling bonus is subject to strict conditions. Therefore, you should pay close attention to make sure you fit the criteria:

  • The car-scrapping bonus is for private car owners only.
  • The end-of-life vehicle must have been registered for at least six months in the name of the same owner as that of the new vehicle (or his/her father, mother or spouse).
  • The end-of-life vehicle must have essential components.
  • The invoice and pink slip for the new car must show the same name and address as for the end-of-life vehicle.
  • You must have the car registration and title documents.

If you fulfil these criteria, but a rear-view mirror or headlamp is missing from your car, you will not have any problems getting this recycling bonus. Your car will still be deemed “complete”.